Natural mouse repellents are a great way to try and keep mice, rats, and other rodents away from your home, but once they infiltrate it is going to be hard to keep them out. Mice don’t generally want to just pick up and leave after they have found a warm home with possible food sources.
That’s not to say you cannot keep the mice from entering your home. The natural mouse deterrents below are the best ways to keep mice away so you don’t have to worry about setting up traps or calling an exterminator.
If mice have made a home out of your house, the repellents will help keep them away from areas that you don’t want them. They will likely remain in your home unless you kill them or catch and release them somewhere else. For that you’d need to look into how to get rid of mice.
- 11 Best Natural Mouse Repellents
- 1 – Cats Deter Mice Best
- 2 – Dogs Bred to Chase Mice
- 3 – Peppermint to Deter Mice
- 4 – Essential Oils as a Scent Mice Hate
- 5 – Grow Mint to Keep Mice Away
- 6 – Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent
- 7 – Moth Balls for More than Just Moths
- 8 – Light Scares Away Mice
- 9 – A Clean Home Disinvites Mice
- 10 – Introduce Natural Predators of Mice
- 11 – Steel or Copper Wool
- Mouse Repellers that Don’t Work
- Mouse Repellents
- More Reading about Getting Rid of Mice
11 Best Natural Mouse Repellents
1 – Cats Deter Mice Best
Cats are likely the best mouse deterrent you can get. Cats are natural hunters and predators of mice. The mice know this very well and will do whatever they can to avoid coming one on one with a ferocious cat.
If you are allergic to cats or really cannot have one in your house, you can use a cat smell to keep mice away. Mice know to avoid the smell of cat urine. If you leave used kitty litter in areas that the mice may enter your house, they will likely turn away from the scent.
2 – Dogs Bred to Chase Mice
Have you ever seen a dog’s face when a squirrel runs across the yard? Dogs, like cats, have an instinct for chasing down mice. While they aren’t as great a hunter as their feline counterpart, dogs are still great at scaring away mice.
There are even some dogs that have been bred to keep rodents away. Rat terriers got their name since they were bred to hunt rats. Basically any breed of terrier can help get rid of mice.
3 – Peppermint to Deter Mice
Peppermint alone isn’t going to eradicate your home of rodents, but it can be extremely helpful in keeping mice away from specific areas of your home. Peppermint can keep mice out of your kitchen, pantry, and your bed.
One easy option is the Altoid mouse deterrent trick. Crush up a tin of peppermint flavored Altoids and leave the white powder in areas you want the mice away from. You can use this around your bed if you’re scared of mice bothering you in your sleep, around food you left out on the counter, or across doorways for pantries.
4 – Essential Oils as a Scent Mice Hate
Besides peppermint, there are other scents that will keep mice away. Mice do not like the smell of mints or lemon. You can combine different mints like spearmint or peppermint alone with a citrus lemon essential oil to make a homemade mouse deterrent.
When you are cleaning around the house, keep a bottle of water with mints and lemon essential oil on hand to spray around areas you think mice might want to visit. You can also leave cotton balls soaked in these oils around the house. Not only will it keep the rodents away, but it’ll make your house smell great as well!
As an added bonus, peppermint oil keeps spiders away.
5 – Grow Mint to Keep Mice Away
I know, I’m still on the mint thing. That’s because it is one of the best natural mice repellents that you can easily use to keep mice away! This won’t do anything for the mice inside your home, but if you have mint growing in your garden or near your home it will make mice think twice before entering your house.
6 – Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent
Fresh Cab is a product made by Earth Kind that makes it easy to keep away mice without having to make your own essential oil concoctions. This FDA registered product comes in ready to use pouches that you place in mouse nesting areas and high traffic areas.
The Fresh Cab pouches are full of plant fiber ingredients and essential oils that keep mice away. Each pouch lasts about three months to get rid of mice and prevent future infestations.
7 – Moth Balls for More than Just Moths
It is believed that the smell of mothballs is supposed to be a good deterrent of mice. There isn’t a ton of proof, but more anecdotal evidence about this one, but it is worth a try.
Since the smell of mothballs isn’t that pleasant for most people and it can be unsafe around children and pets, it is best to use these to get rid of mice in areas you won’t smell them or come across. This would include mouse hiding areas like the attic, basement, and inside the walls.
8 – Light Scares Away Mice
Mice are nocturnal animals that generally only come out at night. They already have poor eyesight so there is no need for them to walk around scavenging during the day.
Lights can deter mice, especially flashing bright lights. They are curious animals, but also extremely cautious about venturing into somewhere unsafe. They use the night and darkness to hide from potential predators, so well-lit rooms can help keep mice away from those areas better than a dark room.
9 – A Clean Home Disinvites Mice
The best way to keep mice and other rodents away is to avoid inviting them into your house in the first place. There are plenty of things in your house that makes great bait for mouse traps, but without a trap, they are just invitations to move in.
Mice prefer to eat crumbs and small pieces of food that are easy for them to carry back to their nest so always clean up crumbs off the floor and counters. This means NOT sweeping up crumbs and scraps under the stove or refrigerator.
Keep the trash cans in your house covered so the mice don’t have somewhere to go scavenging for food or nest supplies as well.
10 – Introduce Natural Predators of Mice
I already mentioned having a terrier or a cat in your house can keep mice away. Another one of the best ways to repel mice naturally is to introduce another predator around your house. One of the biggest enemies of mice is the owl. Owls may look like a cute bird, but they are skilled hunters of mice.
You don’t need an owl in your house to keep mice away. A great option would be to install a barn owl box near your house to give owls a place to live and look over your house. This is a method of rodent control that has been around for a very long time.
11 – Steel or Copper Wool
No, mice aren’t scared of these metals. This is a very practical way of keeping mice out of your home by “building them out.” Steel and copper wool can be used to make your home mouse-proof by closing off any entrances to them. Plastic and wood can be chewed through, but metal wools are more work than it is worth for a mouse.
Mice can fit through extremely small holes, so use the wool to fill any opening that is larger than a quarter of an inch. Copper wool will is the best option since it won’t rust like steel causing stains on your house. Copper also gets stuck in rodents’ teeth making them turn away rather than fight through the pain.
Mouse Repellers that Don’t Work
Ultrasonic Mouse Repellers are Useless
There is zero proof that shows this work at all. The majority of the electric mouse repellers you’ll find are basically the equivalent of selling snake oil. Many of them don’t even emit a sound. The ones that do don’t seem to make any difference either. Save your money for mouse traps instead of an ultrasonic deterrent.
See the video below for a garage science approach to testing these high pitch sound machines.
The above tips for keeping mice out of your home are some of the best options you have to deter mice from your property. The key thing to remember is that you should always try to keep your home clean to avoid any food or nesting areas to become bait for mice to come into your house and make it their own.
Once you see signs of a mouse infestation like mouse poop or gnaw marks, then you should immediately start setting up mouse traps and using the mouse deterrents to keep them from areas you definitely do not want them. It is easier to keep mice away than it is to get them to leave.